Motoring News

2022 Ford Raptor: Ready to ride (fast!) out on the range?

  • Three-litre, twin-turbo, V6 good for 292kW/583Nm
  • Seven drive modes, way-changed suspension
  • Permanent all-wheel drive, front ‘n rear locking differentials
RAPTOR ON ON THE RANGE: Ford’s latest iteration of its Ranger bakkie is the Ranger Raptor – a beast in the east – but especially when taming the Wild Wild West.
Image: Ford America

PRETORIA, South Africa – The next generation of Ford Ranger Raptor units is now in South Africa and, Ford told The Corner, raises the off-road performance bar as a bakkie built for real enthusiasts.

”The 2022 Raptor,” performance expert Dave Burn told The Corner, ”is a derivative of the latest Ranger – one equipped with smarter technology controlling tougher hardware and raw power, and packed with new features – it’s the strongest Ranger yet!”

Motive power is created by a new Ford Performance twin-turbo, three-litre, EcoBoost V6 capable of 292kW/583Nm with the assistance of a graphite-iron cylinder block said to be 75% stronger and stiffer than normal iron castings.

UNDER THE BONNET: New dynamices for the latest Ford Ranger Raptor. Image: Ford America

Burn again: ”The engine and gearbox have brought new dynamics to the Raptor – acceleration and raw performance will have owners grinning from ear-to-ear. The 10-speed autobox will deliver effortless acceleration on gravel, dirt, mud, or sand.”

LET THE ENGINE TALK TO YOU

Drivers can choose their preferred engine sound by pressing a button on the steering wheel or by selecting a drive mode that uses one of the following settings. Here’s how Ford rates them:

  • Quiet: For acceptable performance and sound. Won’t disturb the neighbours.
  • Normal: Commuting/shopping. ”I’m here!’ for everyday use. An ”exhaust note with presence” – not too loud. Applied, by default, to Normal, Slippery, Mud/Ruts, Rock Crawl.
  • Sport: “Louder. For shaking-up things.”
  • Baja: “Like a straight-through system – off-road only.”

Special mounts and reinforcements have been added to C-pillars, load-box, spare-wheel carrier, frames, shock-absorber mounts and rear shocks’ brackets ”for punishing off-roading”.

EVERYTHING TO HAND – OR FINGER: A fascia like no other has been created for the 2022 Ranger Raptor – much of it never seen before. Image: Ford America

The Raptor has a completely redesigned suspension assembled with tough, but light, aluminium upper and lower control arms, long-travel front and rear shocks, and Watt’s linkages to assist with high-speed control over rough terrain.

Back comes Burn: ”The suspension upgrades make the most of the new FOX Live Valve dampers which adapt to enable exceptional on-road body control while absorbing corrugations and ruts off-road.”

SERIOUS BELLY PROTECTION

They’re said to be the most sophisticated yet on a Raptor thanks to using Teflon-infused oil that, Ford says, halves friction over other Raptors and are connected to this Raptor’s selectable drive modes ”for on-road comfort and off-road ride quality at high and low speeds”.

WHOLE NEW DESIGN: Ford;s new Ranger sheds fresh light on vehicle illumination. Image: Supplied

FOX’s race-proven ”bottom-out control” adds damping through the final 25% of shock travel and can stiffen the rear shocks to prevent ”squatting” under hard acceleration.

Still reading? Thank you – editing this is hard work. – Ed

This Raptor also has serious underbody protection. The front bash-plate is almost twice the size of that on the standard Ranger through use of 2.3mm-thick steel. ”Combined with the engine under-shield and transfer-case shield, this plate protects radiator, steering, front cross-member, sump, and front differential.”

Tow hooks, front and back, make towing possible even if a hook is buried and make possible the use of flexible off-road recovery options while driving off-road, with the added benefit of balance straps during a snatch from, say, deep sand or thick mud.

This Raptor is the first to get what Fordies call ”advanced permanent AWD system” – it has an electronic two-speed transfer case, front and rear, – ”something,” Ford says, ”that hardcore off-roaders will appreciate”.

BRAND IMAGE: Well, there certainly isn’t any question about which factory the Raptor comes from. Image: Supplied

Burn again: “This Raptor was intended for desert racers but is also a supremely capable overlanding vehicle. We’ve created, out of the box, an off-road vehicle that needs no modification to get there and back – wherever that might be.”

Helping next-gen Ranger Raptor handle anything from smooth roads to mud and ruts is a choice of seven selectable drive modes, including off-road ‘Baja’ mode for extreme high-speed off-roading.

“We really wanted the Baja mode to be the ultimate expression of the off-road high-speed capability,” said Burn. “It’s a feature at the core of anger Raptor customers expectations.”

The 2022 Raptor also comes with Trail Control … an off-road ”cruise control” for sub-30km/h off-roading.

Exterior design manager Dave Dewitt told The Corner ”everything on the Raptor ‘has a reason to exist”.

READ WAY MORE Ford features on Carman’s Corner

Such as self-levelling diode headlights that are glare-free on high-beam, flared fenders wide enough to house either of two 17” wheel/rim designs and BFGoodrich all-terrain tyres. Functional vents, aero features, tough new-design cast-aluminium steps – all, Ford says, ”enhance appearance and functionality”.

The cabin has extra-supportive sport seats to suit off-roading and a ”premium grade”, leather-wrapped steering-wheel bearing cast magnesium paddle gear-shifters.

Instrument and audio features include a 31cm high-res digital cluster and 31cm central touchscreen to display Ford’s new-generation SYNC 4Av connectivity and entertainment system to cope with Apple and Android smartphones, and a B&O sound system.

…AND A LITTLE HISTORY LESSON

The roots of the model name are in North American come performance bakkies – the first back in 2010, and then the first-generation F-150 SVT Raptor for off-road racing. In 2018 came a new Ford Performance family – Ford Ranger Raptor for a whole new audience of hardcore bakkie owners around the world.

…AND FINAL BURN…

“We knew customers would expect greater performance from the next Raptor – but perhaps not this enormous leap of this beast!”

WATCH THE global reveal of the newest Ranger Raptor here.

…AND A FOOTNOTE FOR POTENTIAL CUSTOMERS – WORLDWIDE

  • Not all vehicle features will be available in all markets. Check with your local dealer.
  • Baja mode off-road only.
  • Beadlock-capable rims extra-cost and in AU/NZ.
  • Not all SYNC 4A features are compatible with all cellphones.
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is next-gen-ranger-raptor-night_1800x1800-1.jpg
NEW FROM FORD: 2022 Ford Ranger Raptor. Image: Ford US

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